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Parker-Ipswich-Essex Rivers Restoration Partnership

This proposal included funding to support the removal of the South Middleton Dam and feasibility/design work for the potential removal of the Ipswich Mills Dam




2015 – 2017

Lead Organization: MA Division of Ecological Restoration

Project Contact: Beth Lambert (MA DER)

About the Project

In June 2014, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced a $4.5 million grant award to support removal of ten high risk fish barriers that cause flood damage within nine Massachusetts communities. The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) submitted the successful proposal which included significant funds to advance two ongoing projects on the Ipswich River. The proposal was funded through the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program.

Upon completion, the 10 dam removal projects will open 189-river miles (106 in PIE-Rivers region) for diadromous and resident fish and restore 90-acres (36 in PIE-Rivers region) of floodplain wetlands. Each dam removal project has support from the owner and a partnership of federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. The project will be deemed successful by the end of the grant period if 9 of the 10 dams are removed, and permit-ready plans are completed for the Ipswich Mills Dam. DER also proposes to use existing mapping (GIS, FEMA, LiDAR) and ecological models to identify a set of 10 dams that are high priority for risk reduction and habitat benefit, secure the interest of dam owners, and develop concept plans and detailed removal cost assessments. This work will form the basis for DER’s next priority dam removal projects to be implemented in the 3 years following this NFWF grant.

Read more about this project from the US Department of the Interior’s blog.

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